Winter brings a swell of optical phenomena. The combination of light, water and cooler temperatures creates an infinite array of wonder from tiny ice crystal formations to grand illusions overwhelming the sky. Halos are optical illusions that occur when light interacts with ice crystals captured in cirrus or cirrostratus clouds such as in 22° halos, also called winter halos. Halos are white or colored when ice crystals act as prisms and disperse the light creating a spectrum of colors. For Ontario Place Winter Light Exhibition inspired by the curatorial vision of Disruptive Engagement I present HALO, a light-based sculpture installation of three winter halos that highlight the disruptive beauty found in winter light.
HALO represents a large-scale light art installation that seeks to connect viewers with the natural wonders of winter. Winter gives the casual viewer a new lens in which to see the world. It magnifies an infinitesimal world of water transformed into ice crystals and grandiose displays. The light that traverses through ice crystals to create a halo is fractured, dispersed and scattered. In the moment a halo forms, the ice crystals magically align to create a fleeting wonder. HALO captures the ephemeral nature of winter’s phenomenal magic and provides the viewer with an opportunity to discover, reflect and enjoy the interchange of light in winter day or night.
Tonya Hart was born in Newfoundland, Canada in 1973 and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts, Visual Arts degree from York University in Toronto in 1998. Over the years she has participated in numerous solo, group and public art exhibitions notably with Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, National Capital Commission, Saskatoon’s Placemaker Program and Governor’s Island Art Fair in New York. Her art has been commissioned for public art projects across Canada and received awards from Canada Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and the Kingston Arts Council. In 2018, she was one of thirty sculptors invited to present a solo exhibition with the European Cultural Centre and the GAA Foundation for the Venice Biennale of Architecture in Venice, Italy. HALO is her second installation for the Ontario Place Winter Light Exhibition following her installation of Winter Fields, a sculpture installation based on solar magnetic fields last year. She currently lives in Toronto.